George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., 17 July 1793

To Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.

Philadelphia July 17th 1793

Dear Sir,

I have duly received your letter of the 8th inst. enclosing papers respecting our unfortunate Citizens, Captives in Algiers, and now return them to you with my thanks for your attention in communicating them.

In all our attempts to accomodate matters with the Algierines, & to releive our Citizens held in Captivity by them, we have been peculiarly unfortunate. Besides the deaths of Captn Paul Jones and Mr Barclay many other untoward circumstances have occurred in that business to prevent its being brought to a point; but I beleive it is unnecessary to say to you, my dear Sir, that no measure which it has been in my power to pursue in order to terminate that matter favourably has been left untried. And things are now in the best train for effecting that purpose that circumstances will admit of.2 With very sincere regard I am Dear Sir Your Affecte & Obedt Sert

Df, in Tobias Lear’s writing, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1GW added this word to the draft.

2On the initial appointment of John Paul Jones and then of Thomas Barclay to negotiate the release of American citizens held captive in Algiers, see Barclay to GW, 27 Dec. 1792, and note 1. Both men died before they could proceed to Algiers to carry out their diplomatic mission—Jones on 18 July 1792 and Barclay on 19 Jan. 1793. For the appointment of David Humphreys as the new commissioner plenipotentiary to Algiers, see GW to Dey of Algiers, 21 Mar. 1793. For the 1795 treaty that Humphreys successfully negotiated, see Miller, Treaties description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends , 275–317.

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